The CEO and President of one of the largest health systems in the U.S., South Dakota-based Sanford Health, announced that he will not be wearing a mask since he’s already had the coronavirus.
CEO and President Kelby Krabbenhoft, who is under the impression that he is now immune to the virus, believes wearing “a mask defies the efficacy and purpose of a mask and sends an untruthful message that I am susceptible to infection or could transmit it. I have no interest in using masks as a symbolic gesture.”
“Masks have been a symbolic issue that frankly frustrates me,” Krabbenhoft said in the email defending his decision. “The ‘on-again, off-again’ behavior of mask use by the general population violates every notion of serious infectious management that I was trained to adhere to, so some of this is absurd.”
There is little evidence supporting that once infected means forever immunity, and there is “no evidence about whether people who have recovered from one infection can transmit the virus to others.” In fact, cases have been documented that show people actually have been infected more than once.
The staff at Sanford Health is rightfully appalled by the CEO’s selfish decision.
“It’s appalling to read this from a hospital CEO,” a Sanford Health nurse, who did not want be named for fear of losing her job, told CNN. “We are supposed to be leaders in the community. How can we be taken seriously when this is our CEO?”
Other nurses have described his comments as “a slap in the face.”
Sanford Health wants the public to know that Krabbenhoft’s email and personal opinion do “not reflect the views of our health system as a whole,” Micah Aberson, Executive Vice President of Sanford Health, told CNN.
Sanford Health recommends you wear a mask, whether you’ve contracted the virus or not.
“When it comes to immunity, the science is evolving and we must continue to follow CDC guidelines.”